The business side of woodworking                                     July 2013

Kerry Knudsen

Who is on your side?

When I was in my marketing sequence in grad school, the professor one day told us how to control a magazine from the outside. “Get to be friends with the editor,” he said. “Buy him a pair of Nikes or a trip to Florida. Then he won’t be able to say ‘no,’ when you ask for a profile or a product review.

“In effect,” he said, “you can own the magazine for $3,000 a year.”

Cool, eh? However, what he failed to mention is that a “bought” editorial product stinks to readers from a hundred yards upwind, and they run the other way. This is why magazines are having trouble, not the internet. It’s called losing value. When there is no customer response, the advertisers have no incentive. My erstwhile professor said agencies believe when one magazine dies, another is sure to come along to take its place. That was then. In tight markets they are just dead.

Simple logic, then, proves editors kill magazines.

What else do we know about editors? For one thing, they tend to vote liberal, with a small l. One of the most-cited sources is a Roper Center study from 1995 showing 89 percent of journalists in the U.S. voted for Clinton in 1992. A survey from March this year in Australia showed only 13 percent of journalists self-identify as being right of centre. That leaves 87 percent on the other side, so the ratios between 1992 U.S. and Australia today are approximately equal. This proves that journalists tend to be leftists and can be bought for a pair of sneakers.

However, owners and managers of small businesses tend to be conservative, small c. From a marketing perspective, this is critical. Communication, either internal to an industry or external to an industry, is more important than anything else. Communication can energize a project, define a reputation or summon a defence. It would require communication to identify foreign products as sub-standard, notify Parliament and consolidate production standards here. In Parliament, no action will occur without evidence, and letters and magazine articles are second only to established law and public safety in importance as evidence.

In my mind, this raises a critical question for businesses in Canada. We have already established that a substantial percentage of jounalists owe their allegiance to government control (left), yet the majority of businesses in our sector are owned and managed by people that see themselves as personally accountable (right). This raises the specter of businessmen having their most powerful communications media controlled by the enemy. It is feasible, for example, that the media in your sector might advocate for union-based job-security initiatives, when the recent recession left you with no job security, or for the media to advocate for the enforced purchase of some exotic safety equipment when one of its advertisers is selling that product. When those journalists’ articles get to the legislative conference tables, the industry is viewed as having representation, and it does not. The editor, however, may have a brand-new, carbon-fiber safety helmet with 32 coloured LEDs. Cool.

In fact, you have to ask yourself whether it is even acceptable, at all, that such agglomeraters as Rogers, Business Information Group or the huge U.S. publishing giants can hire writers that can’t tell the difference between cost and value. Should an industry be required to use enemy sympathizers as its speech writers?

Years ago, I was offered a free trip to write a “story” about a fishing lodge in Labrador. Also cool. However, when I mentioned some industry standards, such as reporting accurately, the owner told me to grow up and live in the real world.

Wood Industry: Advertising information
The one on the right July deadline: FRIDAY

I do. A majority of business owners follow laws and standards, not as a moral issue, but as a business plan. Their objective is to create a good reputation for their products, their employees, their companies, their towns, their sectors and their countries. That is the real world.

A minority of business owners, to borrow a vulgarity from the Greatest Generation, shit in their own mess kits. They study loopholes, pass blame, violate standards, overcharge and move on, basically unable to do the right thing and needing an excuse. That is also the real world. In their minds, laws and standards are obstacles that mean-spirited moralists throw at them to stop them from succeeding.

I am against mean-spirited moralists. Animal radicals and Occupy-ers come to mind. However, people that see quality as a business plan have historically been forced to submit evidence to legislators to pass laws to stop the loopholes, the sub-standard materials and the overcharging. If they don’t fight, they lose. It has never been otherwise. That is the real world.

The communications world is in turmoil. The internet has dominance, but no credibility. In its inception, it spawned bad information and porn, but really fast to large audiences. Credible magazines and newspapers get bought because they have value, but are often subordinated to the whims of those seeking short-term gain, so print media has suffered. (Of note, if you believe in sticking with winners, both Warren Buffet and the Koch brothers in the States are buying print media by the buckets.) In short, we are living in a stage of information chaos. And it’s not working.

If I were in manufacturing, retail, installation, construction or any related field, I would take a look at the existing media, and I would take direct action to tell the appropriate newspaper, television station or magazine and its advertisers that you want relevant information from people that know your business and want to help, not from political operatives from an opposing philosophy that will do anything for their peers’ approval and a business-class ticket to a resort.


Post comments at
Visit and like us on Facebook:


Take some edge off
Roundover & Beading Bits from CMT Orange feature a popular profile for taking the edge off a sharp corner or, if partnered with a cove bit, can create a drop-leaf table or other intricate project. These bits are equipped with two carbide-tipped cutting edges, anti-kickback design, heat-treated shank and body for durability. A 3/8-inch bearing for beading profiles is included with each bit. This product is part of a new brand, CMT Contractor Tools, which is designed to fit the needs of contractors and remodelers.

A trim here and there
The redesigned Precision Trim saw blades from DeWalt are ideal for cutting mouldings, staircases, cabinets, windows, flooring, hand railings, as well as additional crosscutting and ripping applications in premium materials. This blade delivers accurate and smooth cuts with minimum splintering. For optimal accuracy, DeWalt designed Precision Trim with a thin kerf, laser cut, hardened steel plate. The laser-cut expansion slots and exclusive body slots help to dampen vibration, which provides an accurate finish.

Into a groove
Häfele Canada
 has introduced the LooX LED 1089 strip light featuring powerful downward-facing LED modules. Working on the LooX 12 V system, these moulded LED modules are designed for rooms where moisture and water are present, and are particularly suitable for kitchens, bathrooms, living areas and individual interior furnishings. Highly flexible, this strip light will form to curved designs requiring a very tight radius, and can be installed using clips or glue, or be recessed into a groove.


[ Unsubscribe ]

Privacy and "Unsubscribe" Information
You are receiving this email because you are a valued reader of Wood Industry magazine.  Wood Industry respects the privacy of all of its readers and visitors to its website.  Should you wish not to receive future editions of this email, please follow the instructions at the footer of this email.

As an added safeguard against intrusions on your time, Wood Industry does not accept electronic advertising that includes pop-ups, expanding ads, unrequested sound or any other intrusive method of demanding reader attention. Advertising is provided as a reader service, and will appear in its proper place.


July 24 – 27
Las Vegas, Nev.

July 29 – Aug. 2
Las Vegas Market

Las Vegas. Nev.

Sept. 11 – 14
FMC China

Shanghai, China

Sept. 26 – 27
High Point Market

High Point, N.C.

Oct. 24 – 26
WMS: Woodworking Machinery & Supply Expo

Mississauga, Ont.

Nov. 12 – 14
WinDoor North America

Toronto, Ont.

Dec. 4 – 6
Construct Canada

Toronto, Ont.

Jan. 11 – 14
Canadian Home Furnishings Market

Toronto, Ont.

Jan. 13 – 19
Imm Cologne

Cologne, Germany


Wood Industry’s reputation for valuable, relevant content is known and respected around the world. Special coverage this July on MARKETING, a key challenge, will draw an attentive audience. Then stay tuned for regular coverage on economic trends, new products, news, law, commentary and more.

Value for your customers means value for you. Promote your product or service where it will get noticed; in Wood Industry.

Space in the July/August issue closes July 12.

September/October Wood Industry Keep your sales momentum going: Act now to book space in BOTH of our pre-show issues! WMS 2011 was a long time ago -- the market has moved. Wood Industry readers are excited about the upcoming show, and want to know how about your products.

Space in the September/October WMS issue closes Sept. 6.

BONUS: is the first and only online community for Canada’s wood manufacturers. Our new site is 100-percent interactive; every page offers the opportunity to comment and participate. Industry players may also initiate topics on the Wood Industry Q&A Forum. Check it out!

Stephen King,, 905-703-6597